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Jenna Ellis, mugshot
Jenna Ellis mugshot for the Fulton County, Georgia, conspiracy case. Photo credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s former attorney Jenna Ellis became the third lawyer from the president’s orbit to plead guilty in the case.

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The law is catching up with Donald Trump. As we wrote a couple of weeks ago, the walls are closing in on the former president as he is fighting various legal battles… and losing most of them.

Not surprisingly, the lone bright spot for Trump is the case involving the classified documents he stole from the White House. After all, he appointed the judge, and Aileen Cannon has shown a propensity for ruling in his favor. However, most of Trump’s victories are procedural in nature and will only lead to delaying a trial, in which the former president is facing a mountain of evidence.

Conversely, he has already lost the civil fraud case in New York, where the only remaining question is how severe Trump’s punishment will be (and whether he will eventually be jailed if he keeps violating the judge’s gag order). Here, we will hear from the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on Tuesday.

But the real trouble for Trump is brewing in Georgia.

You may know the famous song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which starts like this:

The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin’ for a soul to steal
He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
And he was willin’ to make a deal.

For the former president, you don’t have to change the lyrics all that much:

Donald Trump went down to Georgia, he was lookin’ for an election to steal
He was in a bind ’cause he was 11,779 votes behind
And he was willin’ to make a deal.

Well, right about now, Trump probably wishes he hadn’t tried that… because he may end up spending a lot more time in Georgia than he ever wanted.

On Tuesday, his former attorney Jenna Ellis became the third lawyer from the president’s orbit to plead guilty in the case.

However, as opposed to Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro last week, Ellis pleaded guilty to a felony — aiding and abetting false statements/writings.

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” a tearful Ellis said when addressing the court Tuesday morning.

“I relied on others, including lawyers with many more years of experience than I, to provide me with true and reliable information,” she told the judge. “What I did not do, but should have done, Your Honor, was to make sure that the facts the other lawyers alleged to be true were in fact true. In the frenetic pace of attempting to raise challenges to the election in several states, including Georgia, I failed to do my due diligence.”

While she will avoid prison as part of her deal, Trump may not be so lucky, especially because Ellis is now the third of his lawyers in this case who may be called to testify against him. If they do not appear or make false statements when they do, they could end up going to jail.

The former president’s legal peril in Georgia is especially great because, if he is found guilty, nobody is going to pardon him. Since the case involves state crimes, the president, i.e., Trump himself if he wins next year, cannot issue a pardon.

And, because of the Peach State’s peculiar laws, neither can Georgia’s Republican governor.

For people who have been following Trump’s exploits, it has often seemed as though he would never be held to account in a meaningful way for his misdeeds — from fraud and sexual assault to plotting a coup and obstructing justice.

But in Georgia, that streak of escaping real consequences may just be coming to an end.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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